Thursday, May 31, 2007

More felting fun

We found out that you can even felt cotton fabric. This piece was put together only using the embellisher. There is no actual piecing, just needle punching.

Here is just felt attached to felt. I used felted wool but it is attached to craft felt using the embellisher.

This last piece is craft felt attached to craft felt. We were just trying out different techniques and supplies. The first piece used fusible to attach the design to the background and the second one eliminated the fusible. We just laid it on top and ran the embellisher to attach it.

I need to make some fabric inchies so will pick up more craft felt tomorrow to play. I have to have them done for a swap right away so plan to work on them tomorrow. I need to make green ones and don't have any green felt.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Embellisher Class

I took a class at Fiber on A Whim today on the Embellisher. My friend Sharon was the instructor. I broke down and bought the Janome Embellisher a couple of months ago and finally took it out of the box last night to get ready for the class today. It is a very simple machine. It doesn't use thread but has 5 needles. My hubby calls it a fabric stabbing machine which is pretty accurate. Most of the class had Babylock machine but one other person had the same one I have.

Here I am at the machine. Sharon was very organized and we made several samples testing different techniques. I have photos of a few of them here and will post a couple more tomorrow.

This was the last piece we did. We used a sticky backed water-soluble stabilizer and put lots of stuff on it. Started with roving, dyed scim and yarn. I had a piece of netting that I used as a base.

The piece above is just cheap craft felt. This is actually the back of the piece.

Here is the front - It has an additional felt piece in the center that was felted and then scrim added to it.

What fun this machine/technique is. My Embellisher also has a one needle attachment for doing more precise work. I can't wait to play more with it - just what I need, another obsession.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cool Ties for the Troops in Iraq

The Allatoona guild met today to make cool ties for the troops. We started at 9:30 and were finished, including lunch by 12:30. We made 118 ties and will get them in the mail tomorrow. This time we are sending them to the son of one of our members who is with Military Intelligence. He can distribute them to the soldiers around him.
Barb had the group organized well. We had people who sewed, turned, pinned, trimmed, filled and finished the ties. She had them all cut out so it went very quickly. I had enough WaterSorb left from last year to do this batch. Will have to order more if we do it again.

Barb also made sloppy joes for lunch for everyone. There were a couple of cakes and a big box of cookies also. Plenty for everyone to eat.

I had eight little door prizes left over from the bus trip so we gave them away to people who showed up today. One of the members had her 11 year old daughter helping so she did the door prizes and even won one herself.

We do a community service day on the 5th Tuesday of the months that have one. Next time we will be working on Quilts of Valor for wounded soldiers - our community services days have been very successful this year.

Barb also purchased small beads and put them on safety pins for each of the members to pin onto their name badges. Just another little incentive for everyone to help.

Tomorrow, I have signed up for a class at Fiber on a Whim using the Embellisher. I guess I will have to take mine out of the box and plug it in to make sure it actually works before I go. Finally something to do with all the wool roving I have collected over the past couple of years.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Guild Challenge/Gwen Marsten Workshop

When Gwen Marsten was here last month, she taught two workshops. I posted a few pictures from her liberated string workshop. She also taught liberated stars. For that one I used my usual lime green with some of my extensive black and white collection. They turned out to be 6 inch blocks and I think I will use them in my guild challenge. They are going to go in the border if my idea works out. I have 9 competed blocks and will need 7 more.

These are a lot of fun to make. I only had 3 lime green fabrics with me but will use some different ones for the rest of the blocks.

In the center, I am going to fuse a vase of flowers and use jumbo rickrack for the stems, along with buttons for the center of the flowers. That will take care of the embellishment part of the challenge. For the stripe, I plan to use that in my sashing or perhaps in the background of the applique block.

I drew up a preliminary plan in EQ6 but have other things I need to get completed before I can spend more time on this project.

I also found time to put the sashing on some of the four-patch blocks but hubby called from work and wanted me to go to lunch with him so that took a chunk of time out of my day. Tomorrow the guild is making cool ties for the soldiers in Iraq so I will be busy again.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Four Patch Fun

I found a wonderful fabric that I wanted to make something from. It turns out that my sister has a pattern that uses the exact same fabric so I am going to make a quilt from her pattern. It is a four patch, set on point with sashing between each row.
This is the focus fabric. It is black and white with a little silver highlights and has a 24 inch repeat. The repeats are lined up on top of each other and then I cut 4 1/2 inch strips, cut into 4 1/2 inch blocks.

Here are nine of the four-patches laid side by side. It probably would have been better if I had separated them for the picture but if you look close, you can see the different blocks. So far, I have made 40 blocks and am getting ready to add the sashing to them. I had so much fun playing with the positioning of the 4 blocks that make up the four patch. Once it is put together you cut diagonally twice, sewing the cut off piece back in a different position and the quilt is magically put on point.

I need to quilt a quick quilt for the shop tomorrow but hope to get the sashing on this one. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bus Trip to Mary Jo's

The Allatoona guild took a bus trip to North Carolina on Wednesday. We had a great time. We left here at 8am and got to Mary Jo's just after noon. The bus was leaving to come back at 5pm so we had around 5 hours to look and look.

Since I work in a quilt shop, I really didn't need much fabric but did buy a few things that we don't carry in the shop. I got a few black and white prints (my favorite backgrounds), some sewing motif fabrics (not sure what I am ever going to do with my growing collection), a wonderful ethnic fabric that would make great borders and a lime green and brown floral that I just couldn't resist.

Mary and I also had lunch at Longhorns - always good. Some of the members spent the whole 5 hours in the fabric shop but we decided to take a side trip to LongCreek Mills - a thread shop. The bus made two trips there and it was only about 10 minutes away.

The thread above is what I finally decided to buy. It is cotton quilting thread and hopefully my Gammill will like it. I haven't tried it yet as I just finished quilting a very labor intensive custom quilting job for a customer. The thread was so inexpensive that it was hard to believe it could be any good.

We got back to the mall where we left our cars before 10pm and had a great time. I think everyone had fun. We didn't plan or want to make money on the bus trip and the break even point was 40 people. We actually had 42 people pay and go so I was able to purchase a whole bunch of little door prizes that we gave away on the bus. We played a game with prizes also and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quilt Guild Meeting today

East Cobb Quilt Guild meeting was today. This year the guild is 25 years old so our program was about the beginning and history of the guild. We also had a special show and tell of first quilts. About 12 of the past presidents were there and many of them had their President's quilts with them. Interesting to see the changes over the years.

As First Vice-President, I am responsible for the President's quilt for the current president. She will be out of town next month so I can freely talk about it at the next meeting. She loves reproduction fabrics, and her favorite colors are red and gold so we will do something along that line.

Went out to lunch afterwards and had lettuce wraps - Yum!

The above photo is of my fairy quilt at the shop. See the cute way I packaged the kits. Of course, I found lime green containers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

FiberArt Bee meeting - Collage

We had our monthly FiberArt Bee meeting last week and had a collage artist visit us for the day. We painted and played with paper. We then used scissors to create a picure - mine is above. We used the paper we painted and cut out pictures from magazines to use.

It was fun to do this and next month we plan to try this on our own with fabric instead of paper.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fabric Postcards for the Guild

The East Cobb Quilters Guild is having our every other year show this September. The raffle quilt that I quilted will be given away at the show. For publicity, we decided that it would be good to have something quilty to send to the media. Since I have traded many, many, many postcards and have taught postcard classes several times, I volunteered, or was volunteered to teach a workshop on fabric postcards. We combined the workshop with a bee meeting that I organize for the guild and had about 25 people show up. The price for the workshop was that they each make at least one postcard to give to the publicity committee.

Here are some members making their postcards.

Here are most of the postcards that were made for the guild - aren't they wonderful?

On the table are some of my postcards that I have traded - I brought them all for inspiration and everyone enjoyed looking at them.

Here is a mother/daughter team having fun.

Ray made postcards like he was part of a sweatshop - he completed several and has more almost finished. I think he did about 16 of them.

More bee members with their postcards.

We really had a great time. Almost everyone that attended is planning on making more postcards for their friends and family. Also many of them are making extras for the guild. All, in all, a very sucessful day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

First Completed Quilt

I was going through some photos that my son gave to me last year and found this photo of my first completed quilt. After my disastrous first quilting class where the quilt police were alive and well, I finally revolted and thought about giving up quilting all together.

After cooling down for a couple of months I found another quilt shop near where I lived in Sydney and tried again. This time there was a wonderful teacher who was very supportive. The class I took was quilt as you go log cabin and I used red and blue scrappy fabrics. I guess I have loved scrappy quilts from the very beginning of my quilting experience.

I don't think I will ever make another quilt as you go project, this was my first and last one. The blocks were about 12-14 inches square which meant a lot of handwork putting it together. I got it done though and gave it to my son who is now living in Sweden. At the time, he and his wife (before they got married) were visiting me in Australia during his summer break from college and he took it home with him.

They use it as a picnic quilt, much to the dismay of their Swedish friends. He is doing exactly what I made it for - using it with the children and enjoying it. It is apparently showing it's age and wearing out in a few places but that is fine with me. It is about 16-17 years old and was always meant as a utility quilt. When it completely wears out, I will make another picnic quilt for them.

My son tells his Swedish friends that they belong to the quilt of the month club which is not much of an exageration. They are generally amazed at the quilts that they own. I still need to finish the blue and white star quilt that I am working on for them - it will get done some day!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Color Challenge

What a great day at guild. We had almost 30 people show off their color challenges. Some of them picked crayons that were really a challenge to put together in a quilt but all projects were great. Of course, I forgot my camera but hopefully I can get some pictures to show later. Several others had cameras.

We kicked off the next challenge. The title is Blocks, Stripes and Embellishments, Oh My!

Each person who signed up rolled a die (1 dice) and got a number 1-6. After everyone signed up and rolled, we drew blocks for each number. I have the numbers/blocks written down but here in the blocks, not in number order.

Log Cabin
Sawtooth Star
Log Cabin
Bears Paw
Churn Dash

For the challenge, each quilter must use the block matching their number in their quilt. Does not have to be a quilt made up of rows of blocks but must have at least one of their block in the quilt. There is a minimum size of 20 inches for the quilt and it must be flat - in other words, not a purse or item of clothing. You must use a striped fabric somewhere in the quilt and you must have at least one embellishment added to it. Should be another fun challenge.
These are due at our October meeting.

I drew Sawtooth Star as my block. Haven't decided on a project yet - will have to think about it for a while. I am looking forward to playing with embellishments. Maybe I will finally use some of the crystals I bought a couple of years ago.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fairies for Hanna

Well, the color challenge is done. The crayons that I picked match the pink and purple used for the attic windows.

The fabric line included 6 1/2 inch motifs of fairies and a cute border print. I decided to use both to make the quilt as a shop sample and eventually to give to my 6 year old granddaughter Hanna. Hanna lives in Sweden so I don't get to see her very often but we all all going on a Mexican cruise this summer. I have the Noah's Ark quilt for her little brother Noah and I have fabric to make a train quilt for my other grandson Emilio. So I am set for little gifts for the cruise for each of them - at least I will be when I actually get Emilio's quilt made.

Here is a close up of one of the cute fairies and my mitered pink and purple attic windows. I designed the quilt in EQ6 and finished writing up the pattern today. I will cut kits for it this weekend and it will hang in the shop for a couple of months.

I quilted it with Minkee on the back - Minkee is such a great feeling for a backing of any quilt and I absolutely love the way it looks when quilted. I used a panto called curling feathers - one of my favorites.

Tomorrow is guild day where all the color challenges will be shown. I wrapped the little prizes this evening so all I need to do in the morning is make peach cobbler to take for the lunch potluck. I am going to use one of Paula Deen's recipes that sounds good and looked great when she cooked it on TV.

Color Challenge

We are having a guild color challenge. Back in January, we each drew 2 crayons from a box of 96 colors. The challenge is to make something that uses a significant, recognizable amount of these two colors. Some people got lucky and drew colors that went together and others have more of a challenge. My colors were pink and purple so I was one of the lucky ones. We will be showing the completed projects off on Tuesday at the meeting and I can't wait to see what everyone came up with.

I bought some prizes at the quilt shop yesterday and will get them wrapped up today - I also have to finish the binding on my color challenge and put a label on it. If it wasn't for the last minute, I wouldn't ever finish anything. Each person who shows a completed project will put their name in a basket and we will draw 11 winners. Should be fun.

Will take a picture of my project tomorrow. The picture above is an EQ6 drawing of the quilt - it will be a store sample so I am writing a pattern for it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Paper Inchies

I joined a swap for paper inchies at the ClothPaperStudio yahoo group. We each made 41 one-inch paper squares with a floral theme. I should get my swap package back soon and can't wait to see what other people did with these little beauties.

Although I love to work with fabric, sometimes it is fun to work with paper also.

The next swap is for fabric inchies. It is a smaller swap - 18, I think. Each person choose a color to do their inchies out of. Mine is lime green, of course.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Strings and Gwen Marston

Gwen Marston came to our guild last week and taught two workshops. One was liberated stars and the second one was string quilts. I haven't taken a photo of my stars yet but here are some from the string quilt workshop.

Here is a photo of Gwen and me, with my strings in my hand and behind me on the design board. I have lots and lots of Christmas fabrics so decided to use some of them to make a Christmas quilt. I got quite a few blocks done.

These will finish at 6 inches each. I think I will sew them together in groups of four and then audition sashing. I have strip scraps that can be used for cornerstones.

I would like to make a few more Christmas quilts so everyone can have one.
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